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Manila sends protest note to China over South China Sea incident

Published on Mar 11, 2014 5:44 PM
A US guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens docked in Manila on March 9, 2013, for a routine port call which will allow it to replenish supplies. The Philippines which has been seeking greater US support in the face of more aggressive claims by China over most of the South China Sea, including waters up to the coast of the Philippines. --PHOTO: AFP 

The Philippines on Tuesday sent China's embassy in the Philippines a protest note over an incident on Sunday when China's Coast Guard drove away two Philippine vessels that tried to approach a disputed shoal in the South China Sea.

"China's actions constitute a clear and urgent threat to the rights and interests of the Philippines under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea," the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said ships from China's Coast Guard were patrolling waters around Second Thomas Shoal, known in China as the Ren'ai reef and referred to by the Philippines as "Ayungin", when they spotted the Philippine-flagged boats carrying construction materials.

The boats left the area after being warned off, said Mr Qin.

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